Personal Finance Blog for Retirement and Investment Advice

How to Avoid Depleting Your Retirement Nest Egg

The #1 retirement fear of Americans is running out of money. AARP reports that 50% of Americans share that fear.

And with good reason, because the average 65-year-old (the average retirement age in the US is 61) will outlive his or her savings by almost a decade, according to the World Economic Forum. Unfortunately, many will be forced to choose between putting food on the table or paying for life-saving medicine and may end up being dependent on their children.

We spend our working years hustling to build up our retirement nest egg. We assume that when we retire, we’ll supplement Social Security by withdrawing some of the principal. But no one can give us surefire guidance on how much we can safely take from our nest egg each year. In fact, William Sharpe, winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, said retirement income planning is “the hardest and nastiest problem in finance.”

How long will your money last in retirement?

[Read more…] “How to Avoid Depleting Your Retirement Nest Egg”

Retirement Plan Unpredictability is a Major Wealth Killer

I have written at length about my research into the wealth-killing traps of 401(k)s, IRAs, 403(b)s, and Roth plans… and how to avoid them.

In this post, I’m going to talk about the trap of retirement plan unpredictability, and I’ll start by asking you a critical question:

Do you know what the value of your retirement account(s) will be on the day you plan to tap into them… and in 20 or 30 years?

If your answer to that question is “no,” then you don’t have a plan – you’re gambling.

Yet isn’t the money you’ve earmarked for retirement money you can’t afford to lose? On top of all of life’s stresses, do you really want to have to worry about when the next market crash could wipe out 50% or more of your life’s savings – as has happened twice just since the year 2000?

Market Volatility Has Proven to be a Cause of Health Problems and Even Early Death

[Read more…] “Retirement Plan Unpredictability is a Major Wealth Killer”

Tax Deferral is a Scam and Here’s Proof

Tax deferral is a con, and I’m going to prove it to you.

Actually, I’m going to let you prove it to yourself, with this 5-second experiment.

The conventional wisdom says, “Maximize your contributions to tax-deferred plans, like 401(k)s, IRAs and 403(b)s. Your money compounds without being reduced by taxes, and you’ll end up with more money during retirement.”

But is it really true?

The Society of Actuaries says that if the tax rates are the same, “It doesn’t make any difference whether [the taxes] are taken away from you at the beginning (tax-exempt) or at the end (tax-deferred). It’s the same fraction of your money that is left to you.”

But most people look at their savings and think it’s all theirs. You may have forgotten you’ll owe the IRS the taxes you deferred all those years – on every penny you’ve put in and every penny of growth.

If the tax rates miraculously manage to be lower during your retirement, you might come out ahead by deferring your taxes. But where do you think tax rates are headed long term? You must consider what tax rates might be during a retirement that could last 30+ years. [Read more…] “Tax Deferral is a Scam and Here’s Proof”

When Does Taxation Become Theft?

In his first 100 days in office, President Biden unveiled three colossal spending packages earning him the nickname, “The Six Trillion Dollar Man.”

Biden and Congress are just getting started with the most massive expansion of government since FDR’s New Deal during the Great Depression. Apparently, it’s desperately needed, even though the pandemic-caused recession is over.

This is a government that is notorious for wasting hundreds of billions of our hard-earned dollars every year. Think $518,000 to study how cocaine affects the mating habits of Japanese quails, $998,798 to ship two 19-cent washers from one state to another… and the list goes on. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried!

And let’s not forget this is a government with a long history of not being able to make much of a dent in controlling fraud and abuse. The government admits that more than $134 billion of improper Medicare and Medicaid payments were made in 2020 alone – and that’s just one government agency. [Read more…] “When Does Taxation Become Theft?”

6 Ways to Protect Yourself from Taxmageddon

Updated March, 2022

Our national debt now exceeds the size of the entire U.S. economy, doubling just in the last decade. And it’s growing at a rate that will make your head spin, as a quick glance at the U.S. Debt Clock reveals:


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says this deserves attention because…

Americans will be paying for this for decades.”

Which Means that Higher Taxes are Inevitable and You Must Take Action TODAY to Protect Yourself from the Coming Tax Tsunami!

And the reality is that they can’t possibly raise enough revenue taxing just the “wealthy.”

Did you know that, according to the most recent data available, if you make $69,007 or more, you’re in the top 25% of wage earners? And if you make $118,400 or more, you’re in the top 10%.

As nice as it may sound to be in the top 10% or even the top 25%, it also means you’ve got a giant target on your back when the government is looking for more revenue to cover its obligations.

There are little-known, but legal ways to protect yourself from this tax tsunami, under current tax law. This article explains what you need to do today to shield yourself from some very unpleasant tax surprises down the road.

(Download a FREE Special Report that Reveals How to Bypass Banks and Wall Street, Gain Control of Your Money and Shield Yourself from the Coming Tax Tsunami) [Read more…] “6 Ways to Protect Yourself from Taxmageddon”

How to Trade In Your 401(k) for an Increasing Guaranteed Income for Life

Jason is 53 years old and just changed jobs. He’s facing two retirement planning dilemmas…

  1. He has $830,000 in his 401(k) from his previous job and wants to move it where it gives him more guarantees that he and his wife, Julie, won’t outlive their money in retirement.
  2. He had been putting $19,000 a year into his old 401(k) and wants to continue socking away that much. But in the last couple of years he experienced several downsides to 401(k)s that have soured him on the idea of continuing down that path.

The Five 401(k) Drawbacks Jason Discovered…

Drawback #1: When the pandemic hit, Jason’s employer stopped doing any matching contributions, which had been a big incentive for him. He’d forgotten the employer match isn’t guaranteed.

Drawback #2: As Jason gets closer to retiring, he has much less of an appetite for risk and volatility. What if the market crashes again shortly before he plans to retire in 14 years at age 67?

He’d been saving diligently in a 401(k) for 29 years already, and his average annual return had been less than 6%! Sheesh! All those sleepless nights and heart-stopping crashes… for less than 6% a year?!? He wondered if a monkey throwing darts couldn’t have done better than that… [Read more…] “How to Trade In Your 401(k) for an Increasing Guaranteed Income for Life”

A Surprising Solution to the 15-Year vs 30-Year Mortgage Dilemma

Jon and Jen have an opportunity to buy their dream home and lock in a historically low interest rate. This is a pretty common scenario in today’s market. In fact, you may be thinking about buying a home or refinancing your mortgage to take advantage of today’s low rates. If so, here’s a powerful option to consider…

Jon and Jen are trying to decide whether a 30-year mortgage or a 15-year mortgage makes the most sense. Their mortgage broker showed them that even with an interest rate just 0.65% lower, the 15-year mortgage would save them almost two-thirds of the interest of a 30-year loan.

They decided the 15-year mortgage made the most sense. Their thinking was, “We’re both 48 now, and we plan to work until we’re 70. The sooner we get the house paid off, the sooner we can save more for the future. Plus, we really like the idea of saving almost $90,000 in interest.” [Read more…] “A Surprising Solution to the 15-Year vs 30-Year Mortgage Dilemma”

How to Never Run Out of Money in Retirement – the Solution Top Experts Recommend

Would it surprise you to know that the #1 retirement fear is running out of money – a fear shared by fully half of Americans? That’s according to a recent study by the Aegon Center for Longevity.

People are deathly afraid of running out of money in retirement for good reason, experts say…

Over the last 40 years, there has been a dramatic shift away from company pension plans that promised workers a certain amount of money every month in retirement for as long as they lived.

Instead, there’s been a seismic shift toward do-it-yourself, cross-your-fingers, hope-and-pray retirement planning strategies like 401(k)s and IRAs. [Read more…] “How to Never Run Out of Money in Retirement – the Solution Top Experts Recommend”

New Survey Reveals Majority of Americans Now Live Paycheck-to-Paycheck Due to COVID-19 Pandemic… Here’s How to Avoid That

A new survey from Highland Solutions revealed some startling stats about Americans’ spending habits during the pandemic. How many of these describe your situation?

  • 63% are living paycheck to paycheck
  • 47% have run out of their emergency savings
  • More than one-third have opened up a new credit card since the pandemic to help cover expenses
  • 42% have taken on more debt than normal, and nearly a third have racked up over $10,000 in new debt (a recipe for disaster)
  • 82% could not cover a surprise $500 expense
  • 67% regret not having enough savings before the pandemic hit

So How the Heck Did We Dig Ourselves into this Debt Hole?

For starters, you only need to look no further than the conventional advice about emergency funds. [Read more…] “New Survey Reveals Majority of Americans Now Live Paycheck-to-Paycheck Due to COVID-19 Pandemic… Here’s How to Avoid That”

Taxmageddon is coming – Here’s How to Protect Yourself

President-elect Joe Biden has repeatedly said he will increase numerous taxes and eliminate the Trump tax cuts on “day one,” which would impose a $2,000 annual tax hike on a median-income family of four.

He has promised to as much as double the capital gains tax rates on your investments.

Biden/Harris have proposed canceling student loan debt and are being encouraged to do that by executive order as soon as possible. It would add hundreds of billions of dollars to our already-skyrocketing national debt.

In reality, there’s no such thing as “canceling” or “forgiving” student debt – they can call it anything they want, but it simply means sending the bill to the taxpayers.

Biden wants to raise the corporate tax rate by 33%. [Read more…] “Taxmageddon is coming – Here’s How to Protect Yourself”